What You Need to Know Before You Travel with a Nanny Family
By Stephanie Breedlove, Breedlove & Associates
The summer is in full swing and many nannies are finding that their work schedule is slightly different due to kids being out of school and of course planned family vacations. Some nannies take their own vacation time when the family is away, but many others actually travel with their employer because the family enjoys having their help – or the family is traveling for a mix of business and pleasure. If you find yourself “on the go” with the family you work for, it’s important that both you and the family are on the same page with how your schedule and pay should be handled.
The easiest way to think about traveling with a family is to consider it a business trip for yourself. That means the family should cover the cost of your transportation and hotel room and they should pay you for all the hours you work. To figure out when you’re on the clock, simply ask yourself, “am I in charge of watching the kids right now?” If the answer is yes – even if you’re doing it while sitting in a lounge chair on the beach with a lemonade in your hand – you’re working. If you’re free to come and go as you please or sleeping in your own room away from the kids and completely off duty, you’re off the clock.
It’s very important for both you and the family to keep track of your hours because vacations often involve more working hours than you anticipate. If the family isn’t used to paying you overtime, they could accidentally forget to pay you time-and-a-half for the hours over 40 you work during the week. But if you and the family work out a schedule before the trip and stay in communication during their vacation, it will be easier to avoid having an awkward conversation about your paycheck later.
At the end of the day, the goal for both you and the family is to make sure the kids are taken care of and that everyone is having a great time. There will be work for you to do, but enjoy having some time away and think about activities you can do with the kids to enrich their experience. It may not be a full-blown vacation for you, but there’s no reason to not enjoy yourself and take advantage of your free time to explore a place you may have never been to.